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Turkey assault in NE Syria displaced 300,000: monitor

17 October 2019, MVT 15:01
Displaced people, fleeing from the countryside of the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain along the border with Turkey, ride a motorcycle together along a road on the outskirts of the nearby town of Tal Tamr on October 16, 2019 as they flee from the Turkish "Peace Spring" military operation, with smoke plumes of tire fires billowing in the background to decrease visibility for Turkish warplanes in the area. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)
17 October 2019, MVT 15:01

Turkey's week-old offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria has displaced more than 300,000 people, a war monitor said Thursday.

"More than 300,000 civilians have been displaced since the start of the offensive," Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

He said the jump in the number of people forced to flee was due to a fresh wave of displacement over the past few days from areas around Tal Abyad and Kobane and in Hasakeh province.

Most displaced people tried to move in with relatives in safer areas, some were sleeping rough in orchards and others in some of the 40 schools that have been turned into emergency shelters, Abdel Rahman said.

Turkey and its Syrian proxies launched a broad assault on Kurdish-controlled areas on October 9, after US troops pulled back from the border and started withdrawing from the northeast altogether.

Dozens of civilians -- mostly on the Kurdish side -- have been killed since the start of the offensive, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to halt despite mounting international pressure.

Beirut, Lebanon | AFP

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